Iterate through files in the file sidebar with keyboard

I know right?? I think about this feature everyday I open Obsidian, it’s mad

I had a really good professor in college tell me to learn emacs or vim, because muscle memory with hitting keys actually works and it doesn’t with a mouse. I learned vim and never looked back.

Therefore, this is a pretty major feature for me, as it the one thing inside Obsidian I must do with a mouse. The vim bindings you’ve already implement are amazing. It’s just frustrating that this small feature, which in comparison is a cakewalk, hasn’t gotten any attention.

I googled “is Obsidian open source” and learned it is not. If it was, I would gladly submit a pull request for it.

It seems plausible to me there would be an array storing the files within whatever “FilePicker” component you have. And maybe you have an index that dictates which file is open? So can’t you increment and decrement that number? Perhaps there is an onFileLoad handler that needs calling too.

Anyway, throwing another vote to give this attention.

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Just to add another vote into this one. We already can set hotkeys to navigate through Daily Notes. It’s annoying not being able to do the same with files in a folder.

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+1. Should have all the side panels controllable by hot keys generally.

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+1 would really love this

It would be nice to have this built in.

I think it’s been mentioned once or twice in this thread, but the community plug-in (desktop only unfortunately) “Quick Explorer” is great for keyboard navigation of your vault.

I’ve set hotkeys for show current file and show the vault root. A drop down lets me navigate anywhere with the keyboard arrows or hitting the first few letters of a file/folder.

  • 1 for this - really surprised that everything isn’t keyboard navigable in an app like this

Would love to have this too please.


+1. So necessary.

+1 this is very necessary. Not having it breaks the flow and greatly reduces efficiency and the ability the ability to scan through my notes.

+1, very necessary for a quick workflow

We really need this, a lot of people prefer to avoid having to reach for the mouse if at all possible.

Yes, me too. +1

+1 :pray: :pray: :pray:

Please implement this. It’s probably the one stumbling block that I still have with using and navigating in the app and it would so great to smooth it out.


+1. It’s jarring to have to use the mouse for the file explorer when practically everything else in the app is (or can be) keyboard based.

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I’ve put together an MVP plugin here. It adds commands to open the next/previous note in the file explorer.

Note that the plugin is currently a simple proof-of-concept with only limited testing. It navigates only markdown files within the parent folder of the currently opened note, in alphabetical order by note name.


I’ve tried to use this plugin, and even though my files are sorted in alphabetical order, it seems to navigate randomly. Well, it’s not completely random, it often moves to the very next file, but sometimes it doesn’t. I wonder if I’m doing something wrong.

It’s working correctly now.


Will be implemented in v0.15.0